As children come to learn more and more about how music is put together, they will begin to have new ears to hear any music. They add critical thinking skills to their musical experiences and will enjoy many kinds of music. They also come to understand and love music as they have hands on experiences creating their own music. They can have that experience through private lessons or by just doing some of the fun lessons that I will share.

The lessons will center on the Elements of Music: Beat, Rhythm, Style, Melody, Expression, Form, Timbre, Harmony, and Texture. You can watch as children become confidant at discussing these elements and hearing them in the music they listen to each day. They will enjoy using these elements to create their own music.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Genie in a Bottle (Swan Lake Ballet by Tchaikovsky) Lesson 1

 Once again we have a marvelous story whose conclusion will be found in a piece of music.  I did this lesson with first and second graders.  I told the story while we listened to the music, pausing after each section.  

Here is the music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ea90L91eZk

Here is our story:

Once upon a time there was a genie who was living in a bottle.  He had been in that bottle a very long time - over a hundred years!  How do you think he felt about this?  Maybe he likes it there but maybe he doesn't.  Let's listen to the beginning of the music and see how he was feeling:  Listen to the first 30 seconds of the music then hit pause.(You can watch the timer on the youtube video)

What did you find out about the genie?  Yes, he was sad wasn't he. Can you even imagine what that was like?  Kinda like if you had to stay in your bedroom for a long time.

Now listen to the next part of the music and see if he stays sad.  Listen to the next 30 seconds, hit pause again).  Is he still sad?  What do you think is happening?  Yes, this music is hopeful and there is only one thing that makes a genie in a bottle hopeful.  What is that?  Someone is rubbing his bottle!  Let's listen once again and raise your hand when you hear the genie come out.

(This will happen in just a couple more seconds but this time talk as the music continues)  It is so exciting to hear him free at last. As you listen to the music you can just imagine how good he feels.  He is stretching his arms and legs and neck and back.  (1:04-1:35)  Then you can just see him dancing.  He is free.  He is free.  He is so happy. (1:35-1:55)  Then stop the music.

Something bad is about to happen. It is almost as if our genie has forgotten how to be free.  He is going wild and crazy and when that happens to a genie, the bottle will start to pull him back.  Let's see if we can hear the bottle start to pull.  (This starts at about 2:05.  Stop it by 2:15 so you can ask this question:  Who wins?  Let's listen.  Thumbs up the genie wins.  Thumbs down the bottle wins.  Stop when the genie goes back into the bottle.

I see a lot of thumbs up.  Our poor genie is in the bottle again.  But don't worry, he is going to try once last time to get away from that bottle.  Let's listen to the ending and see what happens.

Play through the ending.  Then the children can tell the ending.  Our poor genie has lost his chance at freedom and now he is sadly back in his bottle.

I like this version of the music.  Nothing going on at all.  Just music playing.

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